Determination of metal ion concentrations by SERS using 2,2′-bipyridyl complexes†
Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) can generate characteristic spectral “fingerprints” from metal complexes, thus providing the potential for the development of methods of analysis for the identification and quantitation of a range of metal ions in solution. The advantages include sensitivity and the use of one ligand for several metals without the need for a specific chromophore. Aqueous solutions of Fe(II), Ni(II), Zn(II), Cu(II), Cr(III) and Cd(II) in the presence of excess 2,2′-bipyridyl (bipy) were analysed using SERS. Specific marker bands enabled the identification of each metal ion and the limit of detection for each metal ion was estimated. Two of the ions, Zn(II) and Cu(II), could be detected below the World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommended limits for drinking water at levels of 0.22 and 0.6 mg L−1, respectively.